Blogger Aki Ang of @thesleekavenue takes us through her stylish home office.
I work as a social media art director, designer and photographer for an advertising and PR agency in Auckland. They call me a hybrid. On the side, I run a fashion blog showcasing fashion art direction, styling and photography through my eyes. From time to time I also share my thoughts regarding luxury trends and the changes and evolutions in fashion on my website, thesleekavenue.com.
How would you describe your space?
My workspace is a reflection of my dressing style — maximalist. Shoes are a key design feature. They’re like sculptures. I also used to collect a lot of framed prints, many of which are now repurposed on the mood boards I create for the projects I’m working on.
It might seem cluttered but the papers and products strewn all over my living room remind me how lucky I am to have a job that I am very passionate about. And even though the space stays the same, these visuals change along with my projects, so I’m never looking at the same thing for too long. This is important as a creative person — my brain wouldn’t function in a minimalist workspace.
Where do you go for interior inspiration?
I don’t actively seek interiors inspiration. I simply break down what I have and see what works. I strongly believe in personalisation — somewhere that says “me” or, this is where I truly belong.
What are your interior go-to’s?
When shopping for furniture, my go-to’s are Nood and Kmart, and there are always amazing gems to be found at the second-hand boutiques in Ponsonby, Auckland. Fashion accessories and packaging and prints are also a big part of my interiors focus, so I should also mention Farfetch.com, Gucci, Balenciaga, Jo Malone, Tom Ford… the list goes on! Before settling down to work I have to shower, eat, and spend a bit of time with my partner, Andrea. The modern woman wears so many hats — our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is a perfect example of that — but without Andrea’s support and belief in me I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What can’t you work without?
Apart from the obvious — phones, laptops, cameras and WiFi — green tea is my most important work companion. Also, snacks and wet wipes. I love snacks, but when I am in work mode I hardly let breaks interrupt my focus. I’ve discovered wet wipes are the best way to clean my hands before touching a keyboard, cellphone or camera. Scented candles are also nice to have. I’m often burning the midnight oil, collaborating with clients in different time zones, so my all-nighter essentials are, again, green tea, lots of cushions, luxurious skincare and, most importantly, discipline.
How do you stay focused or break through a creative block?
For productivity at all hours, I find check lists are a huge help. And if you can’t find a solution for something, move on to something else and come back to it later. Dwelling too long on the same problem is just a waste of time. Also, if something is not achievable within a given timeframe, be realistic and discuss with your clients in advance. Planning, planning, planning is the key. It might seem like a drain on your time initially, but it invariably means fewer do-overs. Last but not least, take time to look back and consider how far you’ve come since you started, remember why you are doing what you are doing, and think about your goals. My goals are what give me the strength to power through the late nights.